The ten year sentence prescribed for offences under the new Statutory Instrument No55 was too severe and should have been subjected to debate in Parliament before being implemented.
Zambezi East Member of Parliament Charles Kakoma decried the fact that the executive drafted and implemented the SI without reference to the Parliament, “Meaning that offenders will be subjected to the punitive sentence which the House may very well overturn.” He said.
The sentence, he said, was very punitive for offences that did not merit such severity. Those to be affected, he added, would be individuals with limited means.
He said that the Government was wrong to take important measures without passing them through Parliament which had legislative authority.
Responding to the complaint Minister of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu acknowledged the sentiments and assured the house that the Government did not deliberately intend to abuse its authority by introducing Statutory Instruments that had far reaching consequences.
Earlier Parliament also heard that the ban on Tujilijili was discriminatory as it targeted poor Zambians, who could not afford to patronize the exclusive hotels and bars where the same liquor was being sold, in similar small containers.
“Tujilijili” the house heard, were sold on aircrafts and exclusive bars where the ordinary Zambian could not patronize.